Experts say the chances of a Dust Bowl repeat are unlikely because of improved soil conservation, but parts of four Southern Plains states are drier now than during that infamous time in the 1930s.
The multiyear drought has brought on more dust storms in Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, New Mexico and Kansas.
University of Texas-El Paso geology professor Tom Gill says long droughts lead to reduced land cover, which makes it more difficult to keep the soil anchored to the ground.
Weather officials say Amarillo, Texas has had 10 dust storms so far this year, while Lubbock has had 15. Southeastern Colorado just began tracking dust storms this year and already is up to 15.